Pubdate: Thu, 05 Jan 2006
Source: Montreal Gazette (CN QU)
Copyright: 2006 The Gazette, a division of Southam Inc.
Author: Jack Hoffman


Re: "Giving junkies a better shot" (Gazette, Jan. 3) and the North 
American Opiate Medication Initiative. As a pharmacist, I have long 
been a believer that the so-called war on drugs has been lost.

It's the old story of supply and demand, Prohibition and 
prostitution. With a very large number of addicts requiring their 
daily fix of whatever drug they need, there will be someone eager to 
supply them. For a profit.

The billions of dollars spent in North America to diminish supply is 
doomed to fail. The profit derived from selling drugs is so huge that 
the crime syndicates will invest whatever it takes to circumvent the 
legal authorities and get the product into our countries and onto the street.

The only way to stop this cycle is to cut out the profit motive and 
give the drugs to addicts in this type of program. This will cost a 
lot less than what is now spent in trying to stop the flow of illegal 
drugs into our countries.

It will also enable the state to provide counselling, reduce crime 
committed by addicts to raise money to buy drugs, improve the health 
of addicts and decrease the spread of disease., This in turn will 
result in less expense to the health-care system, and decrease the 
number of addicts over the long term.

It's time for our governments to admit that they are losing the war 
and to consider such tactics such as NAOMI.

Jack Hoffman

Cote St.Luc
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